This year I decided that I should take as many opportunities to evaluate my work as possible. Are the pictures that I think are good, really good? Or am I deluding myself?
The only way to find out is to get out there a let others see and judge my images.
I belong to two camera clubs, Bedford and Cambridge. Each club has around six photography competitions a year. The judge’s feedback is essential. Also understanding where I am positioned within a cohort of similarly enthusiastic members is a useful measure of my photography.
Photography Salons and Exhibitions
Salons are photography competitions organised by camera clubs but which are open to all photographers. A list of club salons is shown here.
Entry costs a few pounds, but each salon produces an exhibition catalogue from which you can get a good feel of what types of images are winning, and what the overall standard is. Thousands of photographers enter and the winners receive acceptances, commendations and medals.
Most photographers enter salons because these salon awards can be accrued and converted into distinctions i.e. BPE Crowns and AFIAP/EFIAP Awards.
BPE Crowns (British Photographic Exhibitions)
Each image that is accepted into a BPE affiliated exhibition, accrues one point.
Distinctions are awarded as follows:
BPE1 Crown Award – 25 Points
BPE2 Crown Award – 50 points
BPE3 Crown Award – 100 points
BPE4 Crown Award – 200 points
BPE5 Crown Award – 300 points
FIAP (Fédération Internationale de l’Art Photographique).
The FIAP AFIAP (Artist) distinction is awarded when the candidate has:
(1) Taken part in International Salons under the FIAP patronage for at least one year.
(2) Accepted Images in at least 15 international salons in 8 different countries
(3) Obtained 40 accepted images, with at least 15 different works
(4) 10% of acceptances must be gained in Print salons.
The EFIAP (Excellence) distinction is awarded when the candidate has:
(1) Already held the AFIAP distinction for one year.
(2) Accepted images in at least 30 Salons in 20 different countries.
(3) Obtained 250 Acceptances with at least 50 different works
(4) 10% of acceptances must be gained in Print Salons.
Both types of distinction are much sought after, and confer a level of photography excellence.
National and International Photography Competitions
There are national and international photography competitions of all sorts which you can find here
This is a useful site with lots of competitions listed in order of the latest deadlines.
Amateur Photographer also lists some of the most prestigious photography competitions in the UK.
Feedback is the breakfast of championsKen Blanchard